Fast food in free fall? Vietnamese prefer full service eateries

By Minh Nga   November 15, 2018 | 11:49 pm PT
Fast food in free fall? Vietnamese prefer full service eateries
Diners a a full service restaurant in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Xavier Bourgois
A survey has found full service restaurants outshining the quick service segment in Vietnam since 2017’s third quarter.

Full service restaurants (FSR) or sit down eateries where food is served directly to the customers' table, have been far better patronized than quick service restaurants (QSR), where table service is minimal and the typical fare is fast food.

In fact, the QSR segment has been dropping quarter after quarter, according to a report released this week by the HCMC-based market research firm Decision Lab.

It found that the growth of full service restaurants has been fueled mostly by women, and consumers above 35 years of age.

The FSRs and QSR are the two most important channels for manufacturers of various product categories, with the other five channels being street food, bars, convenience stores, hotels, and canteens.

Together, they currently account for the majority of out-of-home visits by consumers across all demographic groups in Vietnam.

The falling of QSR

Quick service outlets have been suffering from declining visits from all consumer groups, male and female of all ages from 15 upwards in all the three major cities, the report said.

Among various types of quick service outlets, cafes, bakeries and juice, smoothie shops are those that have witnessed the biggest drop in visits, by 29 percent, 22 percent and 30 percent respectively.

They have switched to other channels to consume these daily products likes street food, full service restaurants and convenience stores.

But this does not mean Vietnamese are cutting down on these products. Vietnamese consumption of coffee, juice and smoothies actually increased in the past year.

Since April 2016, Decision Lab had tracked the out-of-home eating and drinking market in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, Vietnam’s three biggest cities of Vietnam.

It tracked all food and drink consumed out of home on a daily basis with an annual sample size of 15,000 completed interviews.

The respondents were Vietnamese consumers aged above 15, who also reported on consumption by children (under 15 years) present when eating out.

Nghiem Vu Huong Linh, head of Foodservice at Decision Lab, said the findings suggest that consumers have become very selective in their choice of outlets to visit and that not all outlets can benefit from the increasing demand without making significant efforts to become attractive and worth trying.

go to top